MTV Cancels 'Buckwild' as Shain Gandee's Death Robs It of Breakout Star

Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 11:43 AM

By Ken Mandel

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The death of MTV reality star Shain Gandee also means the end of “Buckwild,” the rowdy show on West Virginia's rural youth culture.

The cable network was expected to announce on Wednesday that it’s canceling the program in the aftermath of the death of the show's breakout star, according to multiple reports.

“MTV didn’t give the cast and crew any specific reason for the cancellation,” a source told TMZ.

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When news the 21-year-old Gandee's death surfaced, MTV said it was stopping production four episodes into the filming of Season 2. No new episodes are scheduled to be aired, though a special that was taped two months ago is still expected to be shown, TMZ reported.

Gandee was found dead April 1 in an apparent off-road driving accident, along with his uncle, David Gandee, 48, and a third man, 27-year-old Donald Robert Myers. The bodies were found in Shain Gandee's Ford Bronco, which was lodged in the mud more than a mile from a trail used for off-road four-wheeling.

Officials later ruled that the deaths were a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Buckwild” had recently been renewed for a second season, despite heavy criticism received from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who demanded its cancelation. In a letter to MTV, Manchin blasted the show for its "ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia."

Filmed around Sissonville, W.V., the show followed the lives of nine young adults who love small-town America and create unique ways to enjoy their time in the rural area. Titles of episodes included "Dump Truck Pool Party," "Sexts, Lies and Chicken Wings," and "Pitching a Tent."

MTV had high hopes for the series, and hoped to attract the same audience that watched "Jersey Shore.” Buckwild drew 2.5 million viewers to its January premiere, more than the opener of “Jersey Shore” spinoff “Snooki & JWoww,” which drew 2.4 million.

Gandee’s death, and a desire to avoid any potential controversy, likely made the decision inevitable. After days of hand-wringing, MTV executives decided against the idea of moving forward, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Gandee is the latest in a long list of reality stars who died over the years, including Joey Kovar of "The Real World: Hollywood," Russell Armstrong of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Corey Haim of "The Two Coreys," Ryan Dunn of "Jackass," and Steve Irwin of "The Crocodile Hunter."

Related stories:

Reality TV Suicides: 14 Celebrities Have Died by Own Hand Since 2005

Reality TV Show Helicopter Crash Kills 3 During California Filming

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